A business fire evacuation plan is more than just an exit strategy during a fire emergency. It gives you a glimpse of how a company cares for the welfare of employees and how they cultivate safety mindedness within the organisation. Without a fire evacuation plan, businesses will not just suffer the backlash of property and reputational damages, legal ramifications, and loss of infrastructures. They are running the risk of losing their most valuable assets: the workforce.
Despite these consequences, many companies continue to operate without a well-established emergency plan, putting their workers and customers at risk. In this day and age where industries are losing millions due to fire incidents, natural calamities, and unrest, emergency management should not just be a peripheral activity. Businesses must take an active role in ensuring that they are prepared to tackle any disaster or emergency that could potentially damage their resources.
A business fire evacuation plan can save your most valuable business assets
Contrary to what some company owners believe, investing in business emergency planning and business fire evacuation plan has an immense impact on their business operations. It does not only strengthen business continuity, but it also saves companies millions of dollars on potential damages caused by fire and other emergencies.
Businesses cannot operate without facilities, infrastructures, and human resources. When these are damaged or lost due to emergencies and other disasters, operations can come to a screeching halt. The damages add up – damages to reputation, loss of trust from investors, and brand devaluation. Depending on the size of the facilities and extent of the damages, it may take months or even years for businesses to recover.
An organisation is only as good as its people. Each year, the Australian economy is losing billions of dollars due to work-related injuries, illnesses and even deaths. This is a strong indication of the growing connection between business profitability and workplace safety.
A business fire evacuation plan can spell the difference between death and survival of business in the face of fatal fire emergencies. Prepare for the unexpected and training human resources on how to mitigate the damages of emergencies.
Having a business fire evacuation plan for your facility is a legal obligation
The Australian government puts a paramount focus on the health and welfare of its workers. It has established standards and regulations that govern emergency planning in the country. Each state mandates different emergency planning requirements and obligations for building owners, facility managers, employers, and general occupants. Here are the standards and regulations in general:
- Australian Standard 3745 – 2010 Planning for emergencies in facilities;
- Australian Standard 4083 – 2010 Planning for emergencies in Health Care Facilities;
- Australian Standard 1851 – 2012 Maintenance of Fire Protection Equipment;
- Other Australian Standards that deal with specific requirements
- State Workplace Health and Safety legislation and codes of practice
- State Fire Safety Regulations (such as the Queensland Building Fire Safety Regulations 2008)
- State Fire and Rescue / Fire Brigade acts
- Building Codes of Australia
Who is responsible for ensuring an effective business fire evacuation plan?
The responsibility of implementing an effective business fire evacuation plan does not solely lie in the hands of building owners. It is the product of the collective efforts of building owners, facility managers, employers, and general occupants. Each has an important role to play to secure a safe workplace for everyone within the facility.
Building owners and facility managers must ensure compliance with Australian standards. This may seem like a daunting task, but with a more structured approach to meeting these requirements and obligations, it doesn’t have to be.
These are the steps to setting up your emergency plan and meeting your compliance obligations now and well into the future.
- Establish an Emergency Planning Committee (EPC) and assign a Fire Safety Advisor
- Establish an Emergency Plan and Response Procedures
- Develop emergency and fire evacuation diagrams
- Establish your Emergency Control Organisation (ECO)
- Complete training requirements Australian Standard 3745-2010
- Participate in evacuation exercises
Emergency management providers can help you prepare the requirements outlined in the Australian Standard 3745-2010 to meet your compliance obligations the smooth and easy way. However, not all providers in the market can help you align emergency planning efforts with your business objectives. Choose a provider with solid expertise and experience in emergency planning. Because most of the services they provide require face-to-face interaction with tenants and general occupants of the facility, the provider must also focus on tenant satisfaction and, represent you the right way to your clients.
A business fire evacuation plan that’s focused on saving lives
While developing a fire evacuation plan is part of your compliance obligations, the main purpose of the exercise it to secure the safety of the people in your care in the event of a fire.
The plan must be properly communicated to the tenants and staff. Employers must also give their staff specific training requirements aligned with their role in the emergency plan. Training will prepare them on what to do and where to go when fire emergencies occur.
There’s no better time than now to establish a business fire evacuation plan
The only way to protect the people in your care during a disaster or an emergency is through preparation. With the rising threats of natural disasters, civil disturbances, fire, and terrorism, there is no better time than now. Having a fire evacuation plan is an important element that you must secure to ensure workplace safety and protection.
Let us help you develop an effective business fire evacuation plan for your facility. Just complete the form below, and our experts will be in touch with you shortly.
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